Java Script is a powerful tool that your web browser uses to achieve functionality beyond a static website. It allows visual dynamic element such as roll image banners or drop down menus to added easily to a website and improve the experience. It also allows a lot more to be done in the background that you cannot see.
Java script is just another program that is loaded by your web browser to achieve this functionality. It is like any other computer program and as such can achieve similar goals as ‘regular’ computer programs. That a program uses Java script is just a minor technical detail. The choice of programming language doesn’t change any of the issues that impact the users.
A Non-free Java script is just as bad to the user as a non-free application or operating system.
Nowadays there are websites to use very large programs to provide their functionality. Online office applications are a good example of just how much power is contained in this system. They are full functioning programs and depending on the programmers wishes can be used to do good or bad.
Java script is an invisible threat. The typical behaviour of your web browser is to install and run these programs without the users knowledge. Merely browsing to a website is considered enough consent to download and run these programs – ones that the user cannot inspect, share, modify and redistribute. This is mistreating the user as it is a power play to get them to stealthy run programs without their consent under the guise of it “merely being a website”.
A lot of these programs are used for interface control; and there are those that are designed to be malicious. They collecting information about your computer and what you do on the internet. They have only one purpose and that is to serve someone else. Without the source code, the community cannot ensure the safety and privacy of the programs running on your computer.
We need Java Script that is Free software. That is the rights to read, share, modify and share the modifications to other users. Then we can ensure a safe and progressive nature to the world wide web.
To do this, all Java Script need to be shared with a link to the source code and explicitly list a free software licence such as the GPL (GNU General Public Licence).
To that measure the Free Software foundation has produced an add-on for all Firefox based browsers. This will check all Java Script that is available on a website to see if these measures are meet. If a program does not have source code or licence then it will not run and will provide you with an email link so that you can notify the administrator as to the issue of free software.
There are others such as No Script which is a free software add-on for Firefox based browsers. This will allow uses explicitly control what is loaded on a website. This however requires the user to directly seek out the source and licence for various programs as there is no automation involved. This can be useful for those that know of a free software package but the program does not define this to be discovered. To that degree we recommend LibreJS primarily.
We must demand free-software Java script. To keep the world wide web working for the users and to progress societies use of technology rather than use it as another tool of digital repression.